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ATO system issues leave tax returns in limbo

Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015

Information Age

Taxpayers and tax agents trying to lodge tax returns could be left waiting for weeks as technical problems continue to plague the Australian Taxation Office’s IT systems.

Individual taxpayers have been unable to lodge returns via the MyTax lodgement portal since the beginning of the financial year.

Instead they are greeted with 404s, “unexpected system error” messages and timeouts, and have taken to social media in droves to vent about the constant technical issues.

In addition, registered tax agents are now also reporting problems using ATO platforms, with those attempting to use Windows 7 and Windows 8 hit hardest.

The ATO said it had identified “connectivity issues” with the Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS) used by agents.

“Windows 7 or 8 users may experience connection issues with ELS if you have installed the latest Microsoft patches,” the ATO said in an advisory.

“Microsoft are working on a resolution as a matter of priority and have advised they expect to have a solution within the next couple of weeks.”

Tax agents affected by ELS issues are presented with an error message along the lines of "failed to initialise connection to subsystem”, and asked to call the ATO for an unspecified “workaround”.

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